Rick Astley opened the Opera Ball that launched the entire ball season

This year’s ball season in Slovakia has been kicked off with the 15th Opera Ball at the Slovak National Theatre’s (SND) historical Opera House in the Hviezdoslavovo Square in Bratislava on January 10. The ball itself was opened by British singer and composer Rick Astley in what was actually the first time that a male celebrity had been given the role. The event stuck with a female host, however, with actress Monika Hilmerová presenting this year. The ball brings together the crème de la crème of Slovak public and political life, culture and show-business. Speaking to Slovak journalists, Astley said that he was happy to accept an invitation to give a performance at ball. He added that while he has performed in a variety of venues, opportunities to perform at a ball are rare.

This year’s ball season in Slovakia has been kicked off with the 15th Opera Ball at the Slovak National Theatre’s (SND) historical Opera House in the Hviezdoslavovo Square in Bratislava on January 10.

The ball itself was opened by British singer and composer Rick Astley in what was actually the first time that a male celebrity had been given the role. The event stuck with a female host, however, with actress Monika Hilmerová presenting this year. The ball brings together the crème de la crème of Slovak public and political life, culture and show-business.

Speaking to Slovak journalists, Astley said that he was happy to accept an invitation to give a performance at ball. He added that while he has performed in a variety of venues, opportunities to perform at a ball are rare.

“Each anniversary kind of requires that you come up with something new, something exceptional,” Andrea Cocherová, director the Opera Ball, told the TASR newswire about the 15th anniversary of the event. “The biggest new thing is that the main star of the ball is not a woman, but a man.

The organisers this year decided to focus on the period which gave rise to luxury balls and parties – the Baroque, the SITA newswire wrote. One of the organisers, Peter Princ, explained that they returned to the roots of balls and pomp – and all that is gracious and beautiful – connected with “The Sun King Louis XIV, who built up the tradition of such balls.

The official part started with Astley (who later also performed his hits) hitting a gong, and with the first waltz danced to the music of Boom Band Orchestra. The ball is also a charity, as proceeds from the sale of tickets go to charity. This year, the total amount exceeded one million euros, with the sum going for the improvement of equipment for clinics of children’s anaesthesiology and intense medicine in Bratislava, Martin, Banská Bystrica and Košice, SITA wrote.

(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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